What’s New In Nature: Osprey

Osprey, (Pandion haliaetus) Osprey, also known as fish hawks, are one of Nantucket’s most iconic birds of prey. They nest predominantly on platforms erected adjacent to beaches and ponds. Although dead trees can serve as naturally-occurring nest sites, this species seems to prefer artificial structures such as nest platforms, cell phone towers, channel markers and utility…

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What’s New In Nature: New England Blazing Star

New England Blazing Star (Liatris scariosa var. novae angliae) Flowering August-September Native to the northeastern United States, New England blazing star is a showy wildflower with star-like clusters of brilliant purple florets arranged on an upright stalk. Found only in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island this globally rare plant is…

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What’s New in Nature: Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) Flowering July-August A colonist from Europe, Queen Anne’s Lace is a familiar sight in old fields and along roadsides and can be found throughout Nantucket.  Another name for this plant is “wild carrot”, because our garden carrots were bred from this species, which has tough white roots. The large flat…

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What’s New in Nature: Grey Catbird

Grey Catbird (Dumetella caroliniensis) To be seen and not heard, is certainly not part of the upbringing of these feisty chatterboxes.  As soon as you near, they are sure to alert you of their presence – perhaps by launching into a melodious cascade of sounds to rival a nightingale – or going on in a…

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What’s New In Nature: Orange Milkweed

Flowering now! Orange Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), also known as  “Butterfly Weed,” attracts a wide variety of butterfly species with its showy flowers and abundant nectar. This gorgeous and unique plant is fairly rare on Nantucket but is a very important component of Nantucket’s sandplain grasslands.   Orange Milkweed has great wildlife value; the leaves are a…

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